Consuls welcome UKBA split

The announcement by Home Secretary Theresa May that the troubled UK Border Agency is to be abolished and brought back within the remit of the Home Office has been given a cautious welcome by the Consular community in London.

In a statement to Parliament, Ms May told MPs she will also split the “closed and secretive” agency into an immigration and visa service and a separate law enforcement command while bringing it back under the direct control of ministers.

Consuls have complained that the organisation is inaccessible and unaccountable and have called for consular and visa cases to be dealt with by named desk or regional officers as happens in the FCO.

“We hope this isn’t simply a reshuffling of desks and personnel but presents a real opportunity for reform,” said one consul at a recent meeting.